Child la­bor­ers to be re­turned home

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By HOULIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn Fang Aiqing con­trib­uted to this story.

Of­fi­cials in Chang­shu, Jiangsu prov­ince, found eight child la­bor­ers on Tues­day af­ter an on­line video ex­posed the il­le­gal use of un­der­age work­ers in gar­ment fac­to­ries.

The lo­cal govern­ment found the child work­ers af­ter search­ing nearly 2,000 work­shops and com­pa­nies.

The chil­dren will be ac­com­mo­dated in a school and sent home af­ter the govern­ment helps them to get their salaries, China News Ser­vice re­ported.

The govern­ment took ac­tion af­ter a video up­loaded to pearvideo.com, a video web­site, went vi­ral on­line. It fea­tured sev­eral un­named sources, their faces ob­scured, who said agents had cheated peo­ple, in­clud­ing chil­dren un­der 16 years old, from Yun­nan prov­ince by promis­ing them high wages.

Ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese law, com­pa­nies can­not em­ploy peo­ple younger than 16.

One source said that al­though the agents prom­ise amonthly wage of 3,000yuan ($435), the child la­bor­ers some­times make less than half of that.

He also said they asked the work­ers to hand in their iden­tity cards and bank cards in case they tried to run away. Work­ers can­not get paid if they quit be­fore they worked for a whole year, an­de­ven have to pay for trav­el­ing and liv­ing ex­penses if they quit af­ter one or two months, the source said.

He also said the agents re­sort to vi­o­lence if they failed to keep the work­ers in their jobs. If the chil­dren “don’t obey”, he said, they “will be beaten”.

“Af­ter they are beaten, they work fast,” he said.

A 15-year-old from Yun­nan’s Wen­shan Zhuang and Miao au­tonomous pre­fec­ture, who was iden­ti­fied only as Xiaox­iong, said the boss kept his ID card and took away his com­puter.

“I was asked to pay 3,700 yuan af­ter I went to work for an­other fac­tory and was found by my for­mer boss,” he said.

Xiaox­iong said he could work on 350 pieces of cloth­ing in one shift. But the boss asked him to in­crease that to 500. “I thought it wouldn’t be tir­ing to work on clothes, as you aren’t ex­posed to the sun. I never ex­pected it to be so tir­ing,” he said.

On Mon­day, po­lice de­tained the man­ager of an il­le­gal cloth­ing work­shop that hired child la­bor. The work­shop doesn’t have a li­cense, the govern­ment said.

An of­fi­cial told China Youth Daily that there are about 4,000 cloth­ing fac­to­ries in Chang­shu, but such cases usu­ally hap­pen in il­le­gal work­shops with­out li­censes that change their lo­ca­tions fre­quently.

The Chang­shu govern­ment has found 211 child la­bor­ers in 107 cases since 2012, China News Ser­vice re­ported.

211 worked as la­bor­ers in 107 ex­posed cases in Chang­shu, Jiangsu prov­ince, since 2012. chil­dren

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